How Stephanie Persichitti Grew a Vibrant Community of Maryland Makers

The Baltimore string artist founded Makers of Maryland, a collective that amplifies local works by sharing connections and hosting regular pop-up shops.
—Photography by Matt Roth

Back in 2018, Stephanie Persichitti was bartending in Baltimore—but art was on her mind. She had recently launched Stephanie’s Strings to share her string art with the world, and there was a lot to consider: To form an LLC or not? How much to post on Instagram? Where around town could she sell her work?

Like a true millennial, she got a group chat going with some fellow maker friends. Right away, Persichitti found relief in sharing resources, tips, and connections. Surely there are other small business owners with the same challenges, who could benefit from a sense of community, she thought.

On a whim, she made an Instagram account, Makers of Maryland, added creatives of all kinds (from photographers to knitters), and began promoting her friends’ work.

Five years later, what began as an anonymous Instagram account is a thriving community of local makers. The group continues to share and support each other online, but they’re also building a strong in-person presence. They have regular pop-up shops, often at The Avenue at White Marsh, where anywhere from 50 to 100 makers take turns working the shop for a few hours a month. There they can not only connect with their peers but interact with customers in a way that isn’t possible at online shops like Etsy.

“Stephanie is a go-getter with a limitless amount of talent, energy, and vision,” says Benjamin Charlick, co-owner of The Weird Emporium. “She developed this vibrant organization as a space for all Maryland creatives, no matter the passion.”

For Persichitti, 2023 is all about expansion; she’s looking forward to ramping up vendor events, meet-ups, pop-ups, and styled shoots. She’s intent on finding even more ways to help creatives be self-sufficient, like bringing in small business CPAs and graphic designers who can help with branding.

“My goal is to facilitate community and support Maryland makers,” says Persichitti. “If I can save someone time or share a connection, that’s amazing—it’s all about consistently bringing valuable information and opportunities to people who are living out their creative dreams from childhood.”